One of my favorite things about reading is developing crushes on characters. It’s one thing to have a crush on a character in a movie, but it’s quite another to have one on a character from a book. Imagining a character in the way that the author’s words inspire you to is so much more exciting than looking at someone’s actual face. It’s your fantasy and nothing can be better than that. It’s sort of like how you’re so much more scared BEFORE the slasher jumps out from behind a bush. Sort of.
Here are a few of my favorite book crushes from over the years:
#1 Holden Caulfield – Catcher in the Rye
Holden is totally that strange boy who usually cut class, but those few days when he was there and he was sitting in the back, you found it hard to focus your attention on the blackboard at the front of the room. In spite of his childish behavior, there’s something about Salinger’s young misanthrope. Or, maybe it is his childish behavior that makes him so darn charming. He kills me, he really does.
#2 Mercutio – Romeo and Juliet
Juliet can have Romeo – I’m taking Mercutio. He’s witty, he’s cerebral and he’s a little bit dangerous. He’s totally a bookworm with a sword! If only they still made men that way. It’s too bad that the only real man in the play is the first to perish. Still, the fact that he stands up and fights to defend his friend only makes him sexier. Ghosts can be crush-worthy, right?
#3 Stanley Kowalski – A Streetcar Named Desire
Okay, so here’s the exception: If I’m being totally honest, I can’t tell if I’m in love with Stanley Kowalski or Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando as Stanley is the one case of the actual face being better than even the best imagination. He is so intrinsically linked to the image of that character that his face graces the cover of most readily available copies of the play. I dare any woman to try to imagine Stanley and not see Brando. Or imagine a better Stanley to crush on. Go on, I dare you.
#4 Sally Seton – Mrs. Dalloway
There can’t possibly be a man or woman alive who doesn’t fall head over heels for Miss Sally Seton. She runs naked through the halls of her BFF Clarissa’s mansion. She cuts the heads off of flowers and throws them in water just to watch them float. She leaves books out in the rain, she never wants to go to sleep and she’ll kiss you unexpectedly while you’re looking at the stars. She is impossible and irresistible. She is youth incarnate. Virginia Woolf captures first love better than anyone ever through Sally.
#5 John the Savage – Brave New World
In a world full of genetically engineered drones, of course the one real man is going to stand out. John the Savage, who is born outside the Sci-Fi World State, is a total dreamboat. He just wants to hold your hand and talk about Shakespeare. He just wants to love you in spite of the inevitable pain and suffering that will ensue. Plus, after growing up in the wilds of New Mexico, he’s probably one rugged hotcake.
Tell me your favorite Book Crushes in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Julia Hart